We had just come back to our vacation home from a day of wine tasting and exploring the Paso Robles, CA area. We sat out at the table on our patio and ate tacos that we picked up from the taco truck parked in front of the community center across the street. The occasional sounds of laughter from kids enjoying the community pool drifted to us on the warm breeze. A live performance started up in the patio of the community center and acoustic guitar and vocals serenaded us.
It was a wonderful evening. The only thing that made it somewhat odd is that we don’t have a vacation home. Also, we were in an RV Resort and we don’t have, we didn’t rent, and we didn’t drive an RV. The trick is that we were staying in what is called a “Park Model RV“.
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Park Model RV
The idea of staying in an RV park without having an RV is not a new one.Â When I toured around New Zealand in an RV a decade ago I found that almost every place I stayed had tiny cabins that you could rent so that you could stay at the same park but not have to be driving an RV. The difference is that those cabins were typically a single room and what I am staying in this weekend is basically more like a tiny home.
The RV Resort where were are staying in Paso Robles, Cava Robles, has 3 different styles and sizes of Park Model RVs. We are staying in their Chateau Rental which has 2 small bedrooms with queen beds, one on each end, with a full bathroom and a kitchen and living area in the middle. The back end of the Park Model RV is an 8′ covered deck with some comfy chairs and out the front door is a patio with a table with 6 chairs, a modern gas grill, and a fire pit. The living area has a twin-size sleeper sofa so the unit can accommodate up to 5 guests.
There are 3 flat-screen TVs in our â€œChateauâ€, an apartment size refrigerator/freezer, a microwave, a coffee maker, a 2 burner stove, sink, and kitchen cabinets with dishes, silverware, pots, and pans and a set of chefs knives. The unit did not have an oven so you would need to plan your meals accordingly.
Sheets, blankets, pillows, and bath towels are included but you will need to bring your own pool towels. The unit has both a heater and an air conditioner which would be useful in the hot Paso Robles’ summer.
In other words, this is a small house more than it is a cabin or hotel room. It is probably the size of our first apartment.
There are two other model vacation rentals at Cava Robles. The Chalet Rental is a smaller studio unit that sleeps 2.
Tuscany Villa Rental
The Tuscany Villa Rental is a one-bedroom unit with a loft that sleeps 6. It also has a spiral staircase leading to a rooftop porch.
Who is a Park Model RV For?
There is nothing standardized about Park Model RVs at different resorts that don’t share a common owner. Some look ready to be towed to the next location and some, like the ones we stayed in, seem much more permanent. Many like ours are in an RV Resort while others may be placed like a tiny home on a private lot for seasonal housing, vacation homes, rental income, or even retirement housing.
A Park Model RV at a resort like Cava Robles might be a good option for someone who wants to travel with someone who has an RV or it might also work well if you are thinking about getting an RV.
- Step 1 – stay in a Park Model RV to see if you like the RV Resort experience
- Step 2 – rent an RV and see if you like driving one around
- Step 3 – Now it is time to shop for your RV
Cava Robles RV Resort
To understand why someone might want to stay in an RV Resort even if they don’t own an RV I should explain that word “resort”.
The first thing I should point out is that an RV Resort is not just a new name for the kind of place we stayed when I road-tripped around the America West with my parents in the 1960s and 70s pulling a 14-foot Siesta Trailer. There is much more going on here than in the RV parks we visited. Those may have had a pingpong table and if you were luckyâ€¦ very very luckyâ€¦ a pool.
Cava Robles RV Resort is a more upscale endeavor and part of a breed of upscale resorts we are seeing pop up across the USA. The entire resort has Wi-Fi access… of course… because this is no longer the 1960s. The flat-screen TVs have cable. The resort opened in May 2018. It has 312 RV sites and 20 Park Model RVs.
The community center has a lot of outdoor seating, gas grills that guests can use, and a pizza oven that is limited to staff use for community events. There is a large pool. As mentioned above, on the weekend they will bring in food trucks like the taco truck and shave ice trucks that we saw. They will sell pizzas made on sites and have wine-tasting events from the operating bar. They are also set up for catering events like weddings.
We spent the weekend exploring things to do in Paso Robles including exploring the downtown, the wineries, and the restaurants of Paso Robles and the area but I am certain that some families never left the resort for the whole weekend. The resort brought in 2 food trucks on the evenings we were there. One had tacos and Mexican food and the other had shaved ice. I mentioned the live entertainment in the evening on the weekend. They also hold outdoor movie nights but if they had one when we were there, we missed it. Why leave?
Even with the exploring, we were doing, we stopped by our home away from home on Saturday night and decided that the taco truck was going to be a lot easier and quicker than going back into town and finding a restaurant for dinner.
Sunday night the food options included a tri-tip sandwich, but we had to leave and get back to the real world.
Families with Kids
The Cava Robles resort like many of the new higher-end resorts is set up to attract families with kids. We saw a large number of kids since we visited over a weekend at the end of a Spring Break week.
By the park entrance is a great playground right by the corn hole and bocce court.
We arrived around 4 pm on a Friday and a line of RVs was arriving for the weekend. The front desk crew was efficient and friendly and the area around the front desk invited people to sit and relax with large wooden rockers and conversation areas. In the back was a dog park so that even your furry family members were welcome.
The main pool area was family-friendly and filled with kids starting at about 9 am but empty when I walked around first thing in the morning.
In the back of the pool area was a splash park as well as a putting green.
The area around the main community center had an abundance of tables and chairs that invited people to relax or maybe mingle. There was also a large chess/checker set but the kids who were enjoying it did not seem to be playing with the rules that I learned in According to Hoyle as a kid. Whatever game they were play did seem to be fun.
You can rent a golf cart to get around the large grounds but you do have to be a licensed driver to drive it. That is a rule that is enforced as we saw one set of young joy riders learn.
But I don’t want to leave you with the impression that an RV Resort like Cava Robles is just for families with kids. While families with kids hung out in the main pool area there were two other pavilions that catered more to adult guests. One had a hot tub and the other had a lap pool.
There was also a large and well-equipped fitness center by the lap pool at the Fox Run Wellness Center. The wellness center also had a meditation room.
Activities at Cava Robles include wine tasting, sip and paint events, game rooms, and dining alfresco with a stone-fire pizza.
Some of the guests at an RV Resort are on a longer trip than we were so the park has facilities to do laundry. The park also has a small convenience store. The RV spots offer water, power, and even a sewer hookup.
Cava Robles is ringed by a lovely walking path through the live oak trees that Paso Robles (the pass of the Oaks) is known for. The path included some interpreted signs about the local wildlife, particularly the local birds.
Many guests were out exploring the path on foot or by bike. If you did not bring your own bike you can rent one from the office.
An RV Resort is the upscale version of an RV stay. If it is within your budget, you may find it, as we did, a relaxing wonderful way to spend a long weekend.
Our accommodations at the Cava Paso Robles resort were sponsored (paid for) by GoRving.com which can help you find an RV, including a Park Model RV, for rental or purchase.
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